Does Psoriasis Increase the Risk of Sexual Dysfunction?



Psoriasis was associated with sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, according to the findings of a recent study.

In the systematic review, the researchers searched for studies that included the key terms “psoriasis” and “sexual” or “sexual dysfunction” on MEDLINE and Embase databases. The quality of the studies was assessed according to the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. A total of 28 studies were identified that included 52,520 participants with psoriasis and 1,806,022 controls.

The researchers found that the prevalence of sexual dysfunction ranged from 40% to 55.6% and the prevalence of erectile dysfunction ranged from 34.2% to 81.1%. Two studies included in the review found an association between psoriasis and sexual dysfunction after adjusting for physical and psychological comorbidities, and 5 studies observed an independent association between psoriasis and erectile dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction was strongly associated with anxiety, depression, psoriatic arthritis, and genital psoriasis, while erectile dysfunction was strongly associated with anxiety, depression and increasing age.

In clinical trials, patients with psoriasis experienced improvements in sexual dysfunction after treatment with biologic therapies compared with placebo.

“Psoriasis could increase the risk of sexual dysfunction, particularly in patients with psychological comorbidity,” the researchers concluded. “Treatment should be optimized in patients with sexual dysfunction.”


Molina-Leyva A, Salvador-Rodriguez L, Martinez-Lopez A, Ruiz-Carrascosa JC, Arias-Santiago S. Association between psoriasis and sexual and erectile dysfunction in epidemiologic studies: a systematic review [published online October 10, 2018]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3442